That’s the main question many people usually ask. In fact, what is the difference between marketing and integrated marketing? integrated Marketing is an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media, and activities, so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer.
In my view, integrated marketing communication is the best option to promote a brand/product. Some people might disagree and may see it as too much work, but I say, integrated marketing gives you a whole full 360 view of all the tools you need to promote your brand or product. I can give you five reasons why you need to implement IMC in your strategies:
To Deliver a Consistent Message
If your integrated marketing communications strategy achieves nothing more than delivering one message across all channels with consistency, it will still have been successful.
Why? Because as soon as your business’s message becomes blurred, unfocused, or inconsistent, you begin to lose your audience. The importance of delivering one message consistently cannot be overstated!
To Build Your Brand’s Image
Not only will your message always be the same, but the elements of your brand will also line up more seamlessly. When your style guides, logos, headers, content, and voice are all working in tandem, you’re able to maximize your impact and carve out your own lane within your niche or industry.
To Generate Cost Savings
A well-oiled strategy will save your business money in a number of areas. Naturally, having a single message helps you conserve resources and reduce waste. You shouldn’t be creating or modifying your message each time you communicate with your customers. Reduce time spent creating, and instead, maximize your marketing budget by circulating.
To Create a Consumer Experience
In a digital world, people aren’t just looking for their next new favorite product or service. Customers want an immersive experience that is delivered on their own terms. In other words, your customers might not want direct mail or TV ad campaigns.
With an integrated marketing communications strategy, consumers help determine how your business’s message is delivered – producing better results for your company
To Focus on Results
Not only does integrated marketing communications reinforce the same message in the minds of your consumers, but it also keeps the message and goal crystal clear within your own organization!
When all parties are working in sync, that is when you’re able to create truly impactful campaigns; and the better you’re able to communicate the same message both externally and internally, the greater your return on investment will be.
Why Integrated Marketing Is So Important
While integrated marketing is not new, it still is important in today’s world. There are more marketing channels now than ever before, and different channels can be led and directed by different people.
Integrated marketing strategies help pull all of a brand’s message points together into one cohesive whole to ensure that the message is not disjointed and confusing. Especially today, when customers are bombarded right and left with news and information of every ilk, integrated marketing relays one clear message, regardless of the channel.
Integrated Marketing Communications Tools
The various tools or elements used in IMC to promotes brands are mentioned below:
Advertising: Any paid form of non-personal communication about an organisation or its merchandise by an identified sponsor is known as advertising. This is often the most important part of marketing communications. The paid aspect means that the space for an advertising message generally has to be bought. Advertisement often involves mass media like broadcast television, radio, newspapers, e-marketing and magazines that can transmit the message to large groups of individuals. Companies these days focus on 360 degree branding to have a complete promotion of its brand. Online media channels use content marketing effectively to reach out to its customers.
Sales Promotion: Those marketing activities that provide extra value or incentives to sales force, distributors or end consumers to generate immediate sales is known as sales promotions. For consumers, sales promotions generally include discounts, coupons and contests. “Buy one get one free” etc. are well-known methods of sales promotions.
Public Relations: Public relations refers to non-personal communications regarding a product or service that is not paid for or run under a sponsor. Hence the main advantage of public relations is its credibility and helps in building a strong brand equity.
Personal Selling: In personal selling, the seller attempts to persuade prospective buyers to buy the company’s merchandise or service. Unlike advertising, personal selling involves direct contact between the buyer and seller.